I help female students navigate tricky varsity life – VIDEO
Wendy Aura is the current Chairperson of the Women Students Organisation at the university of Nairobi an organisation that looks after the welfare of female students at the university. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in communication.
Her journey to becoming one of the voices fighting for women rights at the university has not been an easy fit. She speaks to Nairobi News on the challenges being faced by young girls in university.
When were you elected chairlady for the Women Student Organisation?
I was elected in 2015 and the organisation was basically formed to fight for the rights of women and their space in the university especially in areas of leadership and also being able to get equal opportunities. For example, campus politics for many years’ men have been the only ones fighting for these positions not because women have not been around but due to sometimes intimidation that make the girls at campus feel like they cannot have a fair contest with the men.
What else apart from what you have mentioned above?
We also focus on personal development. We mentor students in campuses, especially ‘freshers’ who come in from different parts of the country and get culture shock. We all went through college and we know a lot of activities go on that most of us would have benefitted if someone talked to us about it. Creating a platform to help mentor the girl child during this crucial time in their life.
What are these issues that a lot of young girls go through in universities?
College is usually the period when young people get the freedom to live the way they want. They get exposed to so many things that if one is not careful can easily destroy their lives even before they finish their studies. We have had female students who stay in hostels who complain of crime likes theft, rape and health matters. And as much as people may think that such occurrences can’t take place in a learning institution the truth is that they do happen. And for the longest time, women have been vulnerable. And although the universities are now working hand in hand with the students to create a safe environment for them we still have to put more effort
And is it much worse for first-years?
Yes, definitely. You know a university is like a small village. Imagine coming to a village which you do not know anyone or anything and you are going to spend the next three four years of your life at that village. My own personal account as a first year I always thought that campus life was going to be the best have a nice hostel room that I would only share with one other person, have fun and always have someone there to help me. But reality checks in when you enter the campus gates. You will meet all types of people, the book worms, the stylish, the party goers. But what one should always remember is to just be themselves.
Watch the full interview below: